Stokowski’s orders

A letter from the conductor Leopold Stokowski to Sylvan Levin gives an insight into his sense of humour:

Caro Maestro Illustre,
Now that you have not a thing to do!!!!! Do you think you would have time to do me a favor and time the whole of Parsifal without cuts?  I suggest you do this alone and without your orchestra; otherwise the tempo might be too fast!!

Also the same afternoon could you look through Carmen noting the places that are rich cream, those that are just milk, and those that are mainly water.  Because we may do next season a very abridged version of Carmen.

I cannot think of anything else to do that afternoon except perhaps you would invite me to tea so as to fill out the time!  (Yes, lemon meringue pie.)


Source: Chasins, Abram (1979) Leopold Stokowski: A Profile.  London: Robert Hale, p.132-133.